On this episode of The Road Forward we interviewed Clint, owner of Boss Hog Logistics. His company is a dispatch service and motor carrier running hotshot trucks. We asked him for his advice on some of the challenges truckers face in the industry today.
Challenges for Carriers and Owner-Operators
While it's true that owner-operators can make good money, quite a few get out of the trucking business after only a few years. Why?
The truth is that as an owner-operator, you'll always be grossing about the same amount. There's really no way to grow your business or increase revenue, and this leads to high turnover in the industry.
To add to the issue, taking cheap freight as an owner-operator just starting out makes it even harder to grow your business. It might help you get more loads initially, but shippers or freight brokers will always expect the same low rates in the future.
Is there a better way to get sales? Clint shared his thoughts.
Advice for Growing Your Business
As a dispatcher he tries to spend time focusing on marketing, especially in his local area. This can mean something as simple as passing out business cards.
He also recommends getting off the load boards if possible and either hauling for direct customers or through contracts.
For new carriers however, this might not be feasible. Clint uses a tool called RateView (available on the DAT load board) which allows you to see the 15-day average price for similar loads to the one your company is looking at. He suggests using this rate when setting your own prices that you provide to freight brokers or direct customers.
In addition, never underestimate the value of using technology to streamline your operation. You may be used to doing paperwork by hand or communicating directly with drivers one by one, but there are tools that can make life easier for you and your drivers. For example, Clint uses a program called Slack to communicate with his drivers. This can be accessed on a computer and by drivers in the field, so communication is always open and everyone stays informed.
We asked Clint for his thoughts on the future of the trucking industry, and his opinion is that there will always be a need for hotshot freight.
Be sure to check out the full episode where Alex, Flint and Matt from the Truckspy team share their thoughts after attending this year's F3 Future of Freight Festival by FreightWaves. We also discussed diesel prices and speculations on how they might be affected by winter as it approaches.
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